Reviews

Artists Of 2017: Rick Barry Is The Face of “Neo- Folk”

Rick Barry has been praised as a rising voice of “Neo-folk” for capturing the traveling style of folk music without its metaphorical lyricism. Folk music has is known for its symbolism and its usage of dreamy words to represent harsh realities. Yet, Barry has taken an opposite route. He makes life seem like a poem in itself by using its honest, harsh situations as an unfiltered look into the human soul. 


There are no symbols with Rick Barry; just realities. This may seem like a step away from folk music as it is known. Yet, you cannot stop Barry’s embodiment of folk’s ultimate theme: journeys. His sophomore LP Curses, Maledictions, & Harsh Reiterations has been described to be like sitting in a bar with an old friend, to which I say that friend is a brilliant poet. Barry has a way with words that exude intelligence. Listening to songs like “So Soft, So Sweet”, “Where Do Seasons Get Their Names”, and “Beatrice” are like hearing genius sparkle through sound. Barry is that friend that manages to speak on your emotions better than you can. He surprises and inspires you with his wisdom and woe like “Removing The Stitches”. You might not believe that a smart person suffers, but Barry draws the line between knowledge and wisdom. For Barry, knowledge gives you facts, but wisdom gives you faith, which it means it comes from experiences: not numbers.


Curses, Maledictions, & Harsh Reiterations is simple in arrangements. Again. Barry is a man of many words. He wants to have a conversation with listeners, and, by chance, its through song. His vocals are like a stream; very clear and flowing with a few emotional ripples that may not move the rocks of your soul but will touch upon them, and, if you let them, will leave a mark. The key words being “if you let them”.  In voice and words, Barry is precise and without pretenses. He is sharing episodes of his life and fragments of his mind that are neither to make you dance or even to make you rest. He truly is trying to converse with listeners, which means you have to think and be mindful in how you let yourself drift into his sweet, guitar melodies. They sound beautiful and soft to the ears like a baby’s touch, but his themes are for adults or mature, spiritual beings whom are done with emotional games but still need to figure out their plays.

The irony of life is that you never stop being a player, even if you are done with its games. For Barry, there are times where he pines for his youth with ache that you can understand. We all wish for that time during ” Wanderlust”, when we did not feel like life had moves to be made, but instead was something that moved from within us. The difference is staggering and explains why Barry’s lyrics are not simply powerful but potent. It is not that his words are elaborate in meaning as much they are artful in connection. He uses his voice like a string, and each word is a bead that surmises the necklace that is life. Whether that necklace will be made of diamonds or duds is up to you, but for Barry the difference does not matter. Its how you wear it that makes it a statement.  For More Information On Rick Barry Click Here.